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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  May 19, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT

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production assistance was provided by albritton communications and "politico." >> this is runaway government at its worst. knows who they will target next. >> i'm looking forward to working with congress to investigate what happened. >> this week, the president in damage control. >> who is going to jail over the scandal? >> the white house caves to demands for the benghazi e- mails. >> the issue of these talking
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points throughout this process has been a sideshow. department looks into associated press phone records. >> they have not explained why .e did not get a prior notice >> and a sexual assault in the military. >> i was raped at a graduation party. >> 100 days into president obama's second term he was asked if he still have the juice to get the rest of the agenda through congress. the president responded if you put it that way maybe ihould pack up and go home. even the wiki has had, perhaps you would not blame him for thinking he should go home. on monday the headline was gop
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and seeksama apology robe of irs for singling out tea party. on wednesday, irs gave a pass to liberals. here is a cry of pain from a major fundraiser for mitt romney. >> three federal audits at once. tax breaks for the makers of the ads that poisoned our airwaves. >> that is also a scandal. the town isy, turning on obama. all of the ingredients are in place for a good old-fashioned pile on. i know it is christmas time for republicans. how bad is it for the president? >> it is a test. theagenda is put on hold, stories are negative, and the question is, can he take control of it? and he owned it and be the
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authority figure and demand answers, realistic answers people are going to accept? >> can the president get from under this one? >> can he owned his own government? he is a buy standard. i read about it in the newspaper. the attorney general asked about the ap story, the dragnet of the phone calls. i have no idea. i can't remember when i recused myself. i was having lunch of the time. these guys want to get elected, they pretend the government is something out there and they just arrived on the scene like a bystandard. >> you were born in this town. on a scale of 1-10, where is this one? >> 5. if you take them one by one, let's go back to the irs, there
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is no evidence that what ,appened to the irs sanctioned it certainly does not rise to the treasury department. it good thing about this, was self policing that caught this. the inspector general found out about it a. crexendo president nixon ordered his perceived enemies taxes audited. >> was not just nixon, fdr, kennedy, bobby kennedy, after watergate there were some laws to separate the white house. clintonidence that miscues the irs. it is an old game. this is not just something obama was doing, this was down the chain. i do not think they found a link that suggested obama was involved. about did aearned week ago. we are saying there is not a
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link to the white house. i do not know if there is. , can youa was asked assure us know when the white house knew about this, his answer was, i did not know about the report until i read about it last week. he was asked about the scandal, not the ig. he gave the most narrow answer you could have. all i am saying is that it opened a lot of questions. cracks -- >> as i followed the we learned about the existence of the inspector general's report,, the chandler -- treasury department on the irs. that had not been released. tore was reference made it earlier. i can understand the president not knowing about this. -- he would have been ill-suited to get into the details.
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the law is clear about the white house separating them from the irs. >> what goes on to cincinnati that they fell they had to target the tea party? >> these are the questions that demand answers. that headed these agencies, they are a presidential appointee. eric holder is a very personal friend of the president. the irs commissioner, who was asked from the george bush administration was kept there by president obama. the question becomes, who knew anything about this? was attached over lunch -- it where was cincinnati it at a time when the tea party was ascended, a thorn in the
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administration's side. hey, let's get even with them. >> we are in the lender -- wonderland of the 501 c. why not just bag it? the rules are confusing. that is the defense of the bureaucrat. this is not unusual in government where they intentionally leave it for the bureaucrats to inter read. -- ierpret it. the idea of obama was ordering this is far-fetched. we do not know yet but i am going to be shocked. >> i am not saying obama is, i am not suggesting it. where did the guys in cincinnati sitting around lunch decide, is it a hotbed of left- wing activism? i have not heard that. on the rules being ambiguous, the rule about targeting the tea
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party and people on the right and not anybody else, that can't be a row. no matter how ambiguous. >> everybody has stipulated. a proper action. >> where did they get the idea that is what we need to know? >> target the aclu and see what happens. >> the irs is the story here. that is the big one. this is going to grow. the republicans do run the risk, let me tell you, of overkill. the hearing they held on was a public relations disaster and i think they had better see the films of 1998. >> you saw the -- you said the pr testimony was a disaster? >> that is what i was coming to,
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benghazi e-mails. >> visit draws hillary clinton into this and puts yourriend or prince on it. herut her in her prints -- fingerprints on it. >> sounded like use trying to blame congress for not passing funding for increasing security. what did we learn from the e- mails? >> we learned there was a turf war. they should not surprise us. the cia and state department are fighting with each other. i think this is much ado about not much. politicsre was some involved but i do not see a scandal. havee of our panelists written we have evidence of a cover-up of a cover-up. would somebody explain to me what crime is being covered up? the west -- worst part of this. unlike in watergate where there
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was a crime, with the state department wanted to do was to obscure the idea it had neglect did the warnings about the security that would -- there was a memo before the attack, libya saying we have to have help. there is also a question of nothing in done, no attempted rescue and the idea that somehow help would not have arrived in time. to arrive inoing time. you do not know it is going to be seven hours and not 17 hours. they want to obscure what had happened and to spin it as a spontaneous thing rather than a terror attack. , if that weret the fact that came out. that is why it is not only a turf or, it was a turf war over a story. in order was intended
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andover the neglect dereliction of the state department and of the government in protecting its own people. >> can i associate myself with the remarks of mr. thomas? this is an airbrushing of the report. it was a turf war between the cia and the state department and the truth be known, it was not an embassy, it was never an embassy. in we did not want to advertise that. that is why the ambassador was this, and we did promise was going to be the most open and transparent administration in history. i think liberals and conservatives would acknowledge that. bythis thing got off track
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the critics. first of all, susan rice was at fault. she was misleading the american people. not doing anything of the sort. this is something that came to .er she got a copy of the talking points and use them. she should have said to them, this is not in my job description. but she sold those talking points. it waser thing is that not of the consulate. this is why they were fighting over in the talking points, it was a cia operation. when the cia put language in the talking points, the state this was yourd facility. ae only political thing was
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reference to congress reacting to that statement. >> who also worked with the bush administration. the washington post said it follows after what you said that susan writes -- rice did not mislead anyone and everyone owes her an apology. if she gets an apology i will buy everybody lunch on friday for the rest of the year. >> she did mislead. she said a story that was not true. she was obviously a dupe. --the idea >> how can you call her a liar? >> i did not call her a liar. >> your friends did. >> these are not my friends. these are people that speak for themselves. she is owed nothing. she spoke to the american people on stuff she was given. if you're given stuff you ask about it. where was the secretary of state?
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that was her job to go out there and speak about this. susan rice knew nothing. she was the wrong person. but to apologize, and she misled the american people. >> according to an editorial, every version of the talking points covered the assessment that they were spontaneously inspired by protests at the u.s. embassy and evolved into a direct assault. >> so much of this is a function of time. you noticed how quickly all of this happen? nobody has any time to figure this out. we expect the government to be able to respond instantaneously in chaotic events. an unrealistic assumption. >> that actually have the truth -- paragraphs that actually
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have the truth, and that was redacted. >> the fbi concurred because they did not want to tip off. that sayss a memo the fbi had no trouble with the talking points. >> i disagree. >> i challenge anyone to tell me how this benghazi story moves to the dimensions the base of the republican party wanted it to be. that beganfor those believing that barack obama was illegitimate as president. 's phoneng at the ap records. >> this was a serious week. a very serious leak. it put the american people at risk. >> there is the attorney
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repo to suggestions the department of justice was out of line going after the ap phone records without prior notice. evan, the ap calls this an unprecedented intrusion. you wrote a book about the cia. what is your take? >> it is an intrusion. ofre are millions investigations but as they go along, the government is careful to narrow them because they don't want to have massive investigations they get the press mad at them. for some reason that did not happen. it is typical prosecutors want these things but usually somebody at a higher level says wait a second, let's tone it down. that did not happen. i do not know why but it is puzzling. i will say it seems like a bad week -- leak. there is evidence it was harmful. >> you are in journalism but
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you have been part of the security apparatus. conducted investigations. i remember interviewing an official suspected of leaking. there was nothing else we could do. the idea of going after the press never occurred to us. this is bad for a number of reasons. we have a security apparatus that tries to prevent --etration of people that this did not comerom the enemy. hubris. done for waiting to boast about what they this operationt in yemen. it was nothing but hubris in that they wanted to show the obama administration as fighting al qaeda.
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that came from within. sure, it was a bit trail but a betrayal -- betrayal by their own people. >> john brennan was on the phone speaking to people that went on television. there was some suspicion that the original leak -- there was a second one about the virus the israelis and americans introduced into the iranian nuclear system. a huge story, the front page of the new york times. but ask yourself, isn't this going to help the enemy? you wonder if that was done to make obama look in control, pushing up against iran. leaks,py's - -have these did they have anybody under oath?
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>> we had a court ruling about prior restraint. >> i will say this, what you have right now is a classic example in washington of secrecy being used to cover any and all transgressions. that happens to every administration and it is happening here to the administration that came in the valley just the opposite. i not think there is any given. that could be the net result is very straightforward. goingy with information to anybody on this panel or with a press badge to tell them something wrong that is going on in the government. >> the law is not clear. there is no shield for the press. in practice they have not done it because they realize it can go down a bad row but the law does not say anything.
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>> we have three issues. what does that do to the situation in terms of immigration? who are the winners and losers acco >> right now, republicans see this as an opening for 2014, putting the democrats othe defensive. the republicans have to be concerned their own basic gets inflamed and enraged and pushes too hard. because it is a basic thing. what you have, most of all, you had a chance for something in tax reform, a republican chairman of the house, ways and means committee, democrats were working but all of a sudden you have hearings before the ways and means committee, it is a lot easier to hold a hearing and get on television than it is to do the hard work of tax reform. >> how many democrats have lined up in support of the president? not many.
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nancy pelosi. >> not many. , if it does not go to the treasury department, that will probably be contained. the ap story is going to die soon. done forget, this was not by a whistleblower. it was not a whistleblower that went to the ap. it was somebody who was bragging and boasting. it was hubris. this is something obama has to be concerned about. it is his own people. .his happened to his own people >> winners and losers, charles. >> the irs is the only one that has the capacity to be a fatal one. i do not think it will reach obama. the council knew about it three weeks before.
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he said that. did he tell nobody in the white house? if it reaches the white house it is serious. but it is the one that everybody feels strongly about. if you have a letter from the irs, you know it is not good news. it is not happy birthday. power can be ruthless and arrogant. in terms of the public that is the one. in terms of the press, they are upset abou thep. they have been obsequious but all of a sudden they are very upset. it is their own prerogative and privacy. i think he asked to make his peace with the press on that because they are the ones mediates between him and the public. >> when nixon got in trouble on watergate, which was at the a burglary, he was
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hurt because he did not have friends. he did not spe a lotf time stroking senators and playing golf. he really paid for it. i am not saying this is on that scale. i dislike these analogies to watergate but there is a point that obama needs to have better friends on the hill. >> where have you heard that before? >> from every democrat in town from day one. tot to add to the point, richard nixon, it was said that he once said politics would be great if it were not for the gd people. he loved the strategizing. quite honestly, the personal relationships are not there. can see jeanne shaheen, new hampshire, mark udall, kay hagan, all getting daylight
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between themselves and the president and the white house this week. a watergateis not but it is a stain on the a burningtion, embassy, leaving americans behind. that is why you had a cover-up in the stain will remain. like sexual assaults in the military. >> i am a veteran and a survivor of rape and harassment in the military. >> when any victim is forced to salute her attacker, clearly our system is broken. >> a sponsor of a bill that would take prosecution of sexual assault out of the chain of command and turned it over to a military prosecutor. we have had story after story after story. 37%. is this a good move echo >> i think it is. i think it is needed. , spoke with a victim last year
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a young woman, it was her superior who had done this. she said, what could i do? , iit is the person above me am in trouble. the only way you can do this is take it out of the chain of command. are doing those that it. severely punish them. >> the colonel in the navy had discretion under the bill. there are things you can set all, article 15. >> i do think this has reached a level, thank goodness for the press coverage. the fact that it is hitting the spotlight in the sunlight. is truly an outraous it is rank upon rank. it is using the power and the .uthority of the military
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>> the military is a reflection of our culture and there is something wrong with their culture. -- our culture. there is a lot of rape in college. we have a degraded culture and it is producing more of this. we are kind of turning our eye and pretending it is not we have to think about it. >> it is a lot just -- cating up with the change in social structure. for 150 years the military was all male. now it is integrated. >> the last word, thanks. see you next week.
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>> hello and welcome to "european journal" from brussels. we have a busy program. let's take a look at what's coming up. buying up property on the french cote d'azure. banning alcohol brands in france. brought into line by swiss efficiency. it's an attractive prospect. 260 days of